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Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 / En Saga CD

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Conductor: Osmo Vanska
  • Composer: Jean Sibelius
  • Audio CD (1 Jan. 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: BIS
  • ASIN: B000025UVS
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 123,807 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
1
30
8:26
Album Only
2
30
5:20
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3
30
7:44
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4
30
14:10
Album Only
5
30
22:23
Album Only

Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating CD, very well performed and recorded, of Sibelius's first thoughts on two masterpieces, the Fifth Symphony and En Saga. He was an inveterate reviser, hardly ever fully satisfied, and spent endless hours over the symphony in particular. His perfectionism and uncertainty about what he had written are best exemplifed in his Eighth Symphony, promised for Koussevitzky in Boston in the 1930s, written over many, many years and then one of a number of manuscripts kept in on old laundry basket which were burned some time in 1945. at his house, Ainola. Here we have a version of the Fifth Symphony which is thematically very like the final, well-known version, but has four movements instead of three and very often diverges from that version radically in terms of scoring, passage work, instrumentation and structure. And we don't get the famous 6 separated chords at the end! The final version is tighter and more satisfying - a better work - but to hear what lay before it is revelatory and very interesting. The same comments apply to En Saga, here almost 22 minutes long as opposed to the usual 17 or so of the final version. All of these BIS Sibelius issues I have heard do the composer full justice - it is an excellent series - and this CD is no exception. Very warmly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have known the 'original' version of SIbelius' Violin Concerto for some time and prefer it to the final version, so I thought it was worth trying out the 'original' version of his 5th symphony. Although not as dramatic as in the concerto, there are revelations in this that are well worth hearing. The performance is every bit as good as you would expect from this orchestra and conductor and the recording also clear and detailed. Well worth hearing.
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Format: Audio CD
Sibelius' revisions irrevocably turned spotty-but-fascinating into masterpieces; but unlike with, say, Bruckner, these first versions of No.5 and En Saga are fascinating listening on their own. En Saga has an entirely new sense of pace and is more stream of consciousness than the rollercoaster final version. The Fifth, shorn of its horn intro and now in four movements instead of three, strikes me as more placid in the first movement, more transcendent perhaps, in a Wagnerian sort of way, in the peroration. I actually think the final power chords sound better illuminated with a shimmer of strings. You can't fault Sibelius' judgement in revising them, but at the same time, hearing these early inspirations allows us to share in the creative process that little bit more. They really are a pleasure to hear.

Recorded sound is exemplary.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Outstanding performances of first versions of symphony 5 and En Saga. Well worth listening to, as these these initial thoughts include significantly different themes to the final versions of each work. In some ways this initial 5th comes across as being nearer to the 4th than the final version. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars ... Sibelius is an interesting workas ir opens with the beautifully evocative chorale by the upper wonds 2 Sept. 2014
By NUC MED TECH - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
09-01-2014 The "Original Version of the Symphony in B Flat by Jean Sibelius is an interesting workas ir opens with the beautifully evocative chorale by the upper wonds, skipping the French Horm massed chorale, and stepping right into the min theme.Those horns were something zI thought I could never live without, but the really gorgeous woodwind statement, in the form of a brief introduction, really suprized me with their enchanting beauty and poignancy. This is the music of the finale, assigned here to the wind choir and, somehow, I wished the composer could have held onto this passage for the final version, of 1915. This December 8th, 1915 premiere in Helsinki was a huge success by the authore soon set upon the revision, offering a rather different structure, but maintaining, for the great majority of the score, the original material, just re-shuffled, as a deck of cards. Occassionally, an enterprising conductor has, not for a long time, now, played both versions on a concert program. If I were in his shoes, I'd do just that, so the audience could appreciate both as separate but equal, well, mostly equal. if not equal, then certainly botrh are excellent compositions, and both worthy of frequent performance exposures. The 5th may be the Finnish Master's finest work, but there is, of course, the 2nd and trhe one-movement brilliance of the #7 in C. And, when you toss in shorter items like "Paholja's Daghter, the Karelia Suite or some of the Lemenkainen material, then you've really got a great Sibelius evening, just chocked full of melody, rhythm, and rousing yet emotively appealing music.
Also included on this Musical Heritage Society CD is the Op. 9 "En Saga," lo in it's "original" version, from 1892. Not having handy a copy of either the 5th Symphony r the poem at the current time, I found the timings of 33:55 (Symphony) and 21:51(n Saga) to be within reason as the tempi set by osmo Vanska and his Lahti Sym. Orch., to be rather recognizable when compared, via memory, with such notables as Blomstedt, rattle, Colin Davis (ith Boston, the LSO and the LPO). All of these maestros, I believe, take these works as being grand o[pieces, suitable for plying in a stately, regal fashion, rather like an Elgarean style. It simply "sounds right," and feels like "comfort music," not unlike the "comfort food" of mom's Sunday meatloaf, mashed potatoes and corn-on-the-cob" feasts.
Within the initial 2 and a half minutes of the first movement, we get that quick ascending orchestral suge, led by the majestic brass, that heralds the high points of the beginning Allegro moderato. Between 07;28 and the end of the first movement at 08:22, the orchestra tries to revisit the short but well armed surge into forte territory but abruptly tapers off to a close. Movements 2 qnd 3 are pretty much mixes of the maerial of the cenrtral movement of the final version of the the 5th, and, as such, this material is clearly recognizable in this 12;47 combination of these two sections, yielding, in the final version, the very fine and majestic conclusion of this great work.
I FOUND THIS EARLY-BIRD Sibelius 5th is as good as it is entertaining, and the Lahti folks play like the patriots they are, with hot red blood rushkng through thei veins. Vanska is, naturally, like minded, indeed and

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